Thursday, 30 August 2012

Doncaster Rovers Belles 2 v Lincoln Ladies 1 - FA WSL

Thursday 30th August 2012, at the Keepmoat Stadium
FA Women's Super League
Doncaster Rovers Belles (1) 2
Alyssa Lagonia 20, Millie Bright 66
Lincoln Ladies (0) 1
Precious Hamilton 73
Admission £6, Programme £2, Attendance 204
Doncaster Rovers Belles:
Mary Earps, Lyndsey Cunningham, Leandra Little, Jessica Sigsworth, Katie Holtham, Aine O'Gorman, Alyssa Lagonia, Kasia Lipka, Tanya Oxtoby, Victoria Williams, Millie Bright
Subs - Lucy Sowerby, Sarah Saxon
Lincoln Ladies:
Nicola Hobbs, Sophie Bradley, Casey Stoney, Megan Harris, Carla Cantrell, Remi Allen, Jess Clarke, Sophie Watson, Emily Roberts, Sophie Barker, Lucy Stainforth
Subs - Lucy Alleway, Precious Hamilton, Katie Rood, Bonnie Horwood, Martha Harris
'Donny Belles' once ruled supreme in women's football, when they played at Armthorpe Welfare, in a very fetching yellow and blue kit.
But tonight, at Doncaster Rovers Keepmoat Stadium, using the slightly different name of Doncaster Rovers Belles and wearing the colours of the local npower League 1 side, they were hosting a FA Women's Super League, bottom three clash.
After taking all three points, Belles are now 6 points behind their visitors from Lincoln in the table, with two games in hand.
But, in what is a tightly packed league (with the exception of champions elect Arsenal), the 'Lady Imps' are still only six points behind second placed Birmingham City, who had an impressive away win against Chelsea tonight.
The other reason I'm mentioning Birmingham, is that they will be travelling to Ashby Avenue to take on Lincoln Ladies on Sunday afternoon, in a Continental Cup semi final game, which will be the next women's football match I will be attending.
Doncaster recorded their first home win of the season and second victory over the 'Lady Imps', in a game that could've gone either way.
From the outset, Lincoln were making all the running, but Mary Earps in the Belles goal was in a determined mood, thwarting Carla Cantrell, Jess Clarke and Remi Allen.
Alyssa Lagonia then caught the visitors out with a sucker punch.
She spotted that Nicola Hobbs had strayed slightly off of her line and chipped the ball goal-wards, aiming it just underneath the crossbar, from out on the right wing.
Hobbs back pedalled frantically, but could only get the slightest of touches to the ball as it dropped over the goal line and ended up in the back of the net.
A combination of Hobbs misfortune and Lagonia's vision (and precision), had broken the deadlock.
The goal lifted the home side's spirits and they finished the half strongly, much to the delight of their bell ringing and enthusiastic supporters.
A congested midfield

The Belles, buoyed on by their first half advantage, started the second half well, while Lincoln struggled to take advantage of a succession of corner kicks.
Ten minutes after the restart, Aine O'Gorman broke free inside the visitors area and fired wide from 8 yards out, when it looked as though another 'Donny' goal was on the cards.
On 66 minutes, O'Gorman lofted an in-swinging corner into the six yard box, but Nicola Hobbs was alert to the danger and punched the ball clear of her goal mouth and out of the penalty area.
But the ball fell to Millie Bright, who was waiting outside the box ... and she smashed the ball home from 20 yards to double the home sides lead.
Former Belles player Precious Hamilton, came on for Lincoln and livened things up in a three pronged attack with Carla Cantrell and Jess Clarke.
Clarke put Cantrell through inside the Doncaster area, but she pulled the ball across the face of goal and wide of the left post.
Then on 73 minutes, Precious Hamilton stabbed the ball home from close range and the 'Lady Imps' were back in the running.
Jessica Sigsworth had the chance to restore Doncaster's two goal cushion, but Nicola Hobbs came off best in an head to head duel in the visitors area and saved the Belles centre half's effort.
In the closing stages, the Belles had to withstand a sustained spell of pressure from Lincoln, who had a goal disallowed following an infringement in the box from a corner.
But Doncaster Rovers Belles held on to their lead and took the three points that lifted them above Liverpool at the foot of the table.
And at this moment in time I don't mind that at all, because Liverpool are not in my good books after their lucky men's team grabbed an 89th minute goal to beat Hearts in the Europa League tonight. Grr!
Alas, with 'Donny' just about hanging on for the win, my happy clapping 'Lady Imps' supporting friend Adam (he does their blog, twitter n' all that) didn't get the opportunity to aim his inspired 'You're not ringing any more!' chant at the bell brandishing Keepmoat faithful.
Sunday's semi final game against Birmingham City, who beat the Imps 3-1 two weeks ago, is being played at Ashby Avenue, the home of Lincoln United, with a 2pm kick off, if any of you fancy it the post code is: LN6 ODY
Doncaster Rovers Belles face a trip to Everton on Sunday, who beat Liverpool tonight to climb up to third in the table.
Many thanks to Linz - AKA the next Mrs 66POW ;-) - for driving to Doncaster.
The back injury that is currently limiting my mobility, ruled out a drive over the East Lancs Road to Anfield tonight and even the short trip to the Keepmoat Stadium from East Retford would've been problematic.
This decrepit and ancient invalid is very grateful for the lift. Cheers mi' dear!